Scholarship and Bursary Resource Guide


You've decided what you'd like to study, applied to a great school, and were accepted. Congratulations! Now, how are you going to pay for it?

It's time to find out about the different kinds of financial aid available for First Nations and Aboriginal students in BC. And don't worry if you're not a "straight A" student — there's support available for nearly everyone with the desire and determination to get an education. While applying for financial aid can be time-consuming, consider it a good investment in your future!

According to some reports, up to $15 million in scholarships may go unclaimed each year in Canada, simply because no one has applied. Make it your business to take care of your financial future by getting the support you need to continue your education.

If you haven't already considered or applied for Band sponsorship, contact your band office or local education coordinator to find out more information.

Two other important places to look for scholarship and bursary opportunities are at your current school and at the school that you will be applying or transferring to. Counsellors and financial aid staff can help you apply for a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, ranging from small awards to large entrance scholarships. Most colleges and universities have financial aid offices with dedicated staff available to help you plan and manage your finances; they will be knowledgeable of scholarships and bursaries specific to your school or program.

Tips for Finding Financial Aid

• Investing time and effort applying for financial aid can pay off! Remember: If you spend one regular work day on your applications and are awarded a $1000 bursary then that that is equal to making $142/hour!

 • Be aware of deadlines for applications. Often the beginning and near the end of the semesters are popular times for applications to open and close

• Update your resume and make sure that your information is current on all your applications, a great resume can make the difference between being accepted or denied so put some time into making sure it's a great reflection you, your education, your experience, and achievements

• Each public post-secondary institution now has funding to assist students who have urgent unforeseen financial needs. Emergency funding is available for food, shelter medicine, travel or other unanticipated costs.

Featured Health Careers Specific Scholarships

New Relationship Trust Foundation

Scholarship and bursary program administered by the New Relationship Trust Foundation on behalf of the First Nations Health Authority, which provides financial support to current post-secondary students pursuing health related studies.


Indspire is the largest supporter of Indigenous education outside the federal government. To date Indspire has awarded more than $54 million in scholarships and bursaries to 16,000 First Nation, Inuit and Métis recipients nationwide.

Health Sciences Association

HSA provides two $1000 bursaries to Aboriginal students from BC who are continuing or proceeding in any HSA-related field.

Tip: Connect with and research the websites of the professional college, association, and/or union related to your specific health field of study such as registered nursing as they may offer support for their students and members.

First Nations and Aboriginal Specific Funding

Aboriginal Learning Links

Aboriginal Learning Links provides organized links to other websites that can help you find information on Financial Support, Child Care, Housing and Career Planning.

First Citizens Fund Student Bursary

The First Citizens Fund Student Bursary Program provides funding to students of Aboriginal ancestry to help support their post-secondary education. It's funded by the Province of British Columbia and delivered by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)

The Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool is a searchable list of 760 bursaries, scholarships and incentives across Canada.

Aboriginal Multi-Media Society

An extensive list of scholarships and bursaries available to Aboriginal students, maintained by Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA ) and Windspeaker.

BC Aboriginal Student Award

The BC Aboriginal Student Award was established in 2008 as part of the provincial government's strategy to improve Aboriginal access to and achievement in education. Its purpose is to support Aboriginal people in pursuing post-secondary education by reducing financial barriers.

Scholarship and Bursary Databases

Create a profile on each of the following databases as they not only house a huge amount of financial aid opportunities that you can search but will also send you matching awards based on the information you provide in your profile directly to your inbox on a recurring basis.

Resource Guide


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